Nurse anesthetists no longer need to be supervised in Ky.

Kentucky will be the 17th state to opt out of a federal requirement that requires nurse anesthetists to be supervised by a physician, a move that Gov. Steve Beshear said will increase flexibility and efficiency in operating rooms.

The Kentucky Hospital Association applauded the effort. “Certified registered nurse anesthetists are an extremely important part of health-care delivery in Kentucky, particularly in the rural areas of the state,” said Mike Rust, KHA president. “This opt-out will ensure patient access to quality anesthesia care.”

“We’ve consulted with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and health care providers, and this is clearly a change we need to make to improve access to critical medical care,” Beshear said. “In cases like this, where the federal requirement is an obstacle to some of the best options for delivery of high-quality health care, we’re pleased to take this step to opt out.”

A 2010 report that analyzed Medicare data for 1999 to 2005 and published in the journal Health Affairs found no evidence opting out of the oversight requirement resulted in more patient deaths or complications. (Read more)

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